After filling in the most important gaps in its lineup post-bankruptcy, the New General Motors wanted to expand its product line to appeal to a new audience — the Millenials. Driving the undertaking was none other than GM North America President Mark Reuss, who knew that the generation of teens and twenty-somethings was substantial in size, but vastly different from other demographics.
The project started with a message: according to the Detroit Free Press, Reuss emailed Dan Longer, a classmate from his Alma Mater, Vanderbilt. Longer earned his bread as the head of advertising sales for MTV. That’s how a study began of automotive interests of what’s often referred to as the Millennial generation — the demographic cohort of those born in the late 1980s, early to middle 1990s, and even as early as the 2000s — was conceived.
Longer initiated MTV’s Scratch division that helps companies reach and learn about specific audiences — especially Millenials. With the help of Scratch, GM was able to speak to groups of high school and college students as well as twentysomethings.
The General’s designers then used the feedback and ideas from the sessions to model a few vehicles that would serve to fill the previously mentioned gaps in GM’s lineup; the concept cars will debut throughout 2012, with the 130R and 140S being first out of the gate at the Detroit Auto Show. Their real-world production will be determined by public reception and feedback.
The GM Authority Take
While filling gaps in the lineup is a huge reason for the effort, it’s also important to note that automakers, in general, are having a tough time reaching today’s youngsters. For starters, consider the fact that Millenials are less dependent than previous generations on cars. For instance, they’re less likely to focus on getting a driver’s license than their parents. But when it does come time to purchase a car, these folks prioritize quality and would rather purchase a used car like a pre-owned BMW over a new vehicle.
This behavior poses a problem for automakers such as GM, whose main business is producing and selling new cars. And if the rate of new car sales decreases when the new generation is responsible for the majority of sales, the competitive landscape will become that much more strenuous. Partially, GM is trying to avoid that scenario with this effort.
Nevertheless, we commend GM and Mark Reuss for taking this undertaking upon themselves and can’t wait to see the other concept vehicles that were created as part of the endeavor.